I set myself a mission to visit all the Ferguson Valley wineries, breweries and tourist highlights in two days. And I’m glad to report…..mission accomplished! So how did I do it?
Ferguson Valley is a stunning valley with lush green rolling hills. Dotted in its landscape is 9 boutique wineries and a couple of breweries, surrounded by tourist highlights on the outskirts.
I stayed three nights in the port town of Bunbury, two hours south of Perth. It’s only a 25 minute drive to Ferguson Valley from there, so it made a great base.
As I had limited time, I had to carefully plan out my two full days. Below I give you the main highlights for each destination. And then I finish with giving you suggested 1 and 2 day itineraries to help you explore the tasty delights of Ferguson Valley yourself.
Ferguson Valley wineries
Perfect place to taste wine while lunching as it’s the only winery with casual dining. They offer a wide range of handmade pizzas. Yep, they make their own pizza dough. And sausages too. Plus they offer 3 different dishes of the day. The day I went, their Thai Pumpkin Soup was gone by 1pm. But the crispy polenta salad was just as delicious.
Couple your lunch with a wine tasting plate. You choose the 5 wines you wish to sample. The tasting price is waived if you buy two or more bottles of wine afterwards.
They have indoor and outdoor dining. I highly recommend to eat on the wooden balcony or the grassed terraces that overlook the lush green valley with trees in the foreground.
They also showcase some art for sale, focusing on Australian nature.
I highly recommend to visit and graze as Green Door Wines have the best views of the Ferguson Valley in my opinion. Beautiful photos to be had from the tables outside. Each one is secluded in its own garden setting.
Even the cosy cellar door has views to envy. A perfect place to grab one of their grazing platters while sampling their wines, each with a Spanish name. There is a $3-$5 charge which is waived should you purchase a bottle or two!
Their specialty here is they offer 3 red wines that have been fermented in traditional terracotta amphoras. It certainly does give it a richer or earthy taste. The Grenache (garnacha) was to die for. And the El Toro tempranillo was so smooth. You won’t be disappointed here.
A small cellar door located upstairs in a large fermenting shed.
No ideal spots to take any dreamy scenic photos of the valley. No food either. But they have a wide selection of wines to try. They also sell some wares such as candles and jewellery.
Some wine highlights; a Rosé made with tempranillo grapes before, their GSM is smooth and they also have a tempranillo in their range.
This is the place for finer dining amongst greenery. No sweeping views of Ferguson Valley but you are surrounded by manicured lawns and low lying trees.
The cellar door is attached to a restaurant that is designed towards fine dining prices. I didn’t eat here myself but it has great reviews from other patrons. And my wine loving friends eat here too.
They offer 5 tastings for $6. For an extra $4 you they include nibbles such as crackers, cheese cubes, nuts and dried fruit. A welcome surprise that you can actually sit down and relax to truly taste the wines. The wine samples were generous too.
The sparkling was great. Lots of chardonnay options on offer if that’s your fave. And the tempranillo was similar to what I had tasted in Spain.
This is a lux boutique winery located further down Ferguson Road, after St Aidan and Bush Shack Brewery. First time I’ve seen wine tastings served on a silver platter at a table. Very chic.
Tastings is $2 per glass with a minimum of 6 servings.
They do have one unique wine that no one else grows in WA. A French grape called Mondeuse. A very smooth drop indeed. And their tempranillo was smooth also.
A highlight is their exclusive fine dining restaurant overlooking a lake. They only offer a set three course lunch for $70. You must reserve or you will miss out. They will cater for gluten free or vegan for a fee, as long as you give them advance notice.
Located 2km up the road from Gnomesville is Talisman Wine. It’s well worth the visit if it’s open to the public. Sometimes you have to make an appointment.
It’s a beautiful setting for tastings as the modern industrial building is set on a lake. Come here if you wish to taste wines of different varieties from the usual Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. I loved their Zinfandel and Malbec wines.
Bakkheia Wines – by appointment only as it’s a small boutique winery
Ferguson Hart Estate – has permanently closed since March 2021. The owners have retired but are starting an AirBnB on their property instead.
Henty View Wines - doesn’t have cellar door but it was up for sale anyway. Anyone have a spare $1.125m?
Winery round up
Although Ferguson Valley is not as big as the Margaret River/Yallingup wine region, it still is hard to make a decision on what you want to see if you’re limited on time. So I have broken it down for you into two different categories to help you choose:
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Ferguson Valley breweries
Bush Shack is the same company that was once located in Yallingup but now relocated to Ferguson Valley. Not only do the offer craft beers but also two ciders and six unique flavoured alcoholic soda type drinks. Too sweet for my liking, but if you like those mixed cans/bottles like Breezers, then you’ll love their selection.
Its $2.50 each taste for a 100ml glass. Or buy a tasting paddle of 6 serves for $12.
Their three-tiered decking out back is a relaxing place to eat lunch too. A full menu is provided. Though only two gluten free options are available. As Saturdays are their busiest day and they only have 100-seat capacity, you need to make a reservation.
This is the second micro-brewery in the valley. It sells craft beers, cider and two wines. They offer a tasting paddle for $16 that includes six, decently sized, tasting glasses.
It also has a restaurant selling the typical pub grub type food. You can eat inside, outside on deck or on the grassed lawns out front.
I’m not a beer drinker, but I did enjoy their cider.
Ferguson Valley attractions
An unusual attraction that was born with one single gnome. Now there are thousands and thousands of gnomes placed by locals, tourists and sporting groups. Add your own or have a laugh. There are so many different types of gnomes to suit all tastes. Just follow the wooden boardwalks and natural paths that weave around the trees and gnomes.
It’s located right at the roundabout of Ferguson Road and Upper Ferguson Road. It’s free entry and open 24/7. Carpark and toilet facilities also available.
This dam has become quite famous since a mural was painted along the whole length of the wall. You can take photos from below or from a viewing platform at the top. Both have parking space.
A small kiosk is located at the top carpark, selling sandwiches, pies and sausage rolls.
There are some hiking trails in this national park, if you wish to take a break from wining and dining! If you're a hiker, then I would suggest that you spend the whole day here and leave the wineries for another day.
Do the loop
You can incorporate Wellington Dam as a complete loop with Ferguson Valley. An anticlockwise direction would be best.
As you drive down Ferguson Road, you have the options to stop at St Aidan, Bush Shack or Hackersley Wines. At the end of the road take a quick gander at Gnomesville. Then head up to Wellington Dam via Wellington-Forest Road, at the end turn right into Pile Road and then left into Falcon Road.
After all your photo shoots, take a leisurely drive along the one-way Lennards Drive. There’s four different parking spots where you can have a picnic, relax in nature or cool your feet in the creek.
At the end of Lennard Drive, turn left into River Road and then right at Pile Road. Now you’re back on the Ferguson Valley wine route again, where you can stop into Wild Bill Brewery, Willow Bridge Estate, Green Door Wines or Ferguson Falls Wines.
If you start feeling light headed or need a break from all that alcohol, let mother nature rejuvenate your soul. This little forest has three trails to choose from, to suit all types of walkers.
Forest Path – is a 600m loop on a paved path that is suitable for a wheelchair. Can walk it in 10min or 20min at a leisurely pace.
Jarrah Walk – is a 1.5km walk through the bushland. A couple of steps here and there but generally it’s a really easy walk. Took me 45min, with lots of photo stops. The wildflowers start springing up in August.
Wildflower Walk – is 3km loop, with a viewing point looking towards Bunbury.
Marri Walk – is a 10km circuit.
One day itinerary
If you only have one day to spend in the Ferguson Valley, to get the best of wine, food and scenery, I would recommend the following route as a guide.
Turn into Pile Road and visit the following places:
- Ferguson Falls Wine & Café - They seem to be the only ones that open at 10am, while the rest open at 11am (according to their websites).
- Green Door Wines - They offering grazing platters with your wine tasting, in case you are in need of brunch.
- Wild Bill Brewery (optional) - It is located nearby, to satisfy any beer drinkers in your group.
Then return back to Ferguson Road and head towards Gnomesville. Along the way you can stop at:
- St Aidan Wines - A classy restaurant for lunch. Or return to Ferguson Falls for a lighter lunch.
- Bush Shack Brewery (optional) - Again, for the beer drinkers in the group. Or to use a lunch stop.
- Hackersley Estate Wines - For a long and luxurious set lunch. Must make reservation.
- Then continue to the end of Ferguson Road where you will encounter the gnomes!
Two day itinerary
Spend the day focusing on Pile Road:
- Ferguson Falls Wine & Café
- Green Door Wines
- Willow Bridge Estate – small cellar door only. No food.
- Wild Bill Brewery (optional)
- St Aidan Wines (its on Ferguson Road, but very close to the Pile Road turnoff)
Second day focus on Ferguson Road and Wellington Dam.
- Bush Shack Brewery (optional)
- Hackersley Estate
- Talisman Wines
- Wellington Dam. Follow the loop itinerary set out above. Bring with you a picnic lunch or grab a bite at the Kiosk.
If you whiz through the above, then as you drive home via Pile Road, you’ll be back on the Ferguson Valley wine route. So you can stop in for a bite to eat at either Wild Bill Brewery, Green Door grazing or Ferguson Falls café.
So, how will you choose to explore the Ferguson Valley? Will it be for one day or two? Which places do you fancy the most?
No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong.